Because net play and (net) poaching are so important in POP Tennis doubles play, it is essential, in almost all instances, that you hit your returns-of-serve with topspin. This is the case because returns hit with topspin dip at your opponents’ feet. This forces your opponent into the difficult position of “hitting or vollying up” on the ball to get it over the net. As a result, your topsin doubles returns may well give your team the opportunity to make an offensive volley or (net) poach — if your partner is at the net; or, hit a more offensive groundstroke, if you and/or your partner are both on the baseline.

Conversely, if you “slice” your return-of-serve, oftentimes, the ball rises as it goes across the net. This allows the opposing team’s net player to volley down on the ball and make an offensive shot against you. Additionally, because a sliced return generally travels across the net at a slower rate of speed than one hit with topspin, the opposing net players have more time to cut across the net and poach or pick-off the sliced return and make an offensive volley.

You want to hit your POP Tennis doubles returns with topspin for a myriad of compelling reasons. All-time Tennis great, Rod Laver, may have well said it best, as he succinctly and emphatically counseled, “Winners hit with topspin!”